Mass-produced, printable solar cells enter market and could change everything

Victorian Organic Solar Cell Consortium (VICOSC) are Australian solar power experts who have developed solar cells created with a 3D printer. The group, consisting of scientists from the CSIRO, the University of Melbourne and Monash University have been working on the technology for over seven years and have figured out a way to cheaply print the panels onto plastic, including smart-phones and laptops, enabling self charging electronics.

VICOSC are now able to print organic photovoltaic cells the size of an A3 piece of paper. They are also able to print directly on to walls and windows using an opaque solar film and claim that they can line a skyscraper with panels, making it totally electrically self sufficient.

"We print them onto plastic in more or less the same way we print our plastic banknotes," said Fiona Scholes, senior research scientist at CSIRO. "Connecting our solar panels is as simple as connecting a battery. It’s very cheap. The way in which it looks and works is quite different to conventional silicon rooftop solar."

LEARN MORE: Mass-produced, printable solar cells enter market and could change everything, MINDS